CNAME Flattening and other DNS help

Hello,
I’ve read a lot about DNS and how exactly the entire website address lookup works, but I am confused.
Here is my setup, the domain is not example.com, I’ve just changed it in the picture, but it follows the same pattern as the real one:


These were automatically added after a Cloudflare scan of my domain before I used Cloudflare, and I’ve not changed them.
First, what is the A record with ‘*’, how does it work? Do I need it? Cloudflare warns me it exposes my IP address.

And what records do I need to change to use the CNAME flattening service, so I can increase the speed of DNS resolving? CNAME can’t point to an IP address, so if I add a CNAME ‘example.com’ what do I point it to? And do I delete the A record ‘example.com’?

Also, can I get the mail to work via Cloudflare? I remember reading that’s impossible and I should use an email service hosted elsewhere instead, but I am not certain.

Unfortunately, I can’t do trial and error to figure this out myself, as people might lose access to the website.

It is a wildcard record, which cannot be proxied and hence does expose that IP address.

You only have one CNAME, which is for “mail”. Free accounts - which I presume you have - can only flatten the CNAME at the domain’s root level (@) but not for actual records.

What do you mean by that? Mail does work on Cloudflare, however Cloudflare does not proxy any mail, so you need to make sure all mail related records are set to :grey: (which, again, exposes these IP addresses).

Yes, but is it ‘*.example.com’ or ‘example.com*’, or both? And do I need it by default, I’m confused why I have it in the first place. My host added it, as they have their own DNS servers and then Cloudflare scanned it and added it too, and I’m afraid to remove it because I don’t understand why I need it, if I need it.

OK, if I added a CNAME record with name ‘@’ what do I point it to? And do I delete the A record with name ‘example.com’, or maybe I have to delete both A records?
When someone connects to ‘example.com’ if I have a CNAME with that name and an A record with that name, which one will he resolve to? Same question for www.example.com, that’s why I’m asking.
To my understanding until I read about Cloudflares flattening, DNS resolves to an A record which points to the IP. CNAMEs point to A records. But now if a CNAME is at the root level, what does it point to? Does it still point to an A record and can an A record have the same name as a CNAME?

OK, I think I got the information on this one wrong, nvm the mail issue, its good then.

The former.

Typically not, but that depends on your setup.

The host you want to point it to.

It might be best to clarify this with your host.

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